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The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

The Student News Site of Mercer Island High School

The MIHS Islander

Hip Hop Artist Kristoffer Holtan Expresses Himself Through Music

Holtan raps into the microphone. Photo by Kieran Rodgers.

Freshman Kristoffer Holtan recently started making music under the name Toffu. 

“I make a lot of hip hop music in a genre that’s called bedroom pop, which is homemade beats done on a low-budget using a program from the computer,” Holtan said.

Most recently, Holtan has uploaded songs to his Soundcloud titled  “Hide,” “Planz,” “From you” and “Wasting time.” 

“When I write a song, I’m just coming up with melodies and ideas and then I think, ‘ok, what does the sound feel like,’ and by judging the sound I can judge what I want to write about and what I want to draw from.” 

Holtan’s main inspiration is Childish Gambino, the artist behind “This is America,” which won the Grammy for Record of the Year in 2019.

“[Gambino is] very talented and he can do lots of things,” Holtan said. “Not only is he a songwriter, but he is also an actor which is something I did for a long time, and so I identify with his method a lot, and I really enjoy his music.” 

“My older music talks a lot about school pressure and how being unique is difficult at times,” Holtan said.

While lyrics are a key element to his music, Holtan also emphasizes the importance of melodies.

“The way the artist expresses [meaning] without lyrics through the sound creates a vivid feeling and it leaves you with something to walk away with,” Holtan said.

As a music composer, Holtan encourages his peers to explore his creative work.

“I definitely think there should be ways to get friends from school to check out your music,” Holtan said.


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